Court rejects Rusesabagina’s abduction claim

On 10 March 2021 at 03:03

The High Court Special Chamber for International and Cross-border crimes has retained the 30 days remand handed to Paul Rusesabagina who appealed against the decision and requested for release claiming that he was abducted.

The ruling was read today on Wednesday 10th March 2021 in presence of the suspect who immediately appealed against the decision.

Rusesabagina faces nine counts linked to terrorism, and he is co-accused with other 20 individuals who were allegedly involved in terror attacks that took place between 2018 and 2019 and claimed nine lives.

He is accused along with Nsabimana Callixte ‘Sankara’, Nsengimana Herman and 18 other suspects facing terrorism charges.

Appearing before the court in the previous hearing, Rusesabagina claimed that he was abducted and requested his release.

Rusesabagina said that he spent four days with hands and legs tied up adding that he had no legal representation when he was summoned by the prosecution.

He requested for release as awaiting trial in depth.

Among others, Rusesabagina objected that Rwanda Investigation Bureau cooperated with Bishop Constantin Niyomwungere to bring him to Kigali illegally. The prosecution however explained that he was not kidnapped but rather tricked by his friend along the way from Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates to Kigali.

During the previous hearing, Bishop Niyomwungere Constantin gave testimonies narrating how he tricked Rusesabagina until they arrived in Rwanda where the suspect was arrested. Niyomwungere said he was shocked by killings committed by Rusesabagina’s armed group FLN which took lives of people in the surroundings of Nyungwe in Nyaruguru district and destroyed properties.

After analyzing Rusesabagina’s request, the court considered that he was not kidnapped but tricked.

The court also read that Rusesabagina was informed before interrogation on 31st August 2020 and decided to respond without defense lawyer.

The court also considered the severity of accused crimes and said, it doesn’t Rusesabagina to be released.

“The fact that Rusesabagina is detained waiting for trial in depth, doesn’t abuse his rights. The court ruled that the appeal against remand is unfounded,” read the court.

Rusesabagina’s lawyer, Rudakemwa Félix immediately appealed against the ruling. “We want trial proceedings halted until things become clear,” he said.